Sunday, April 11, 2010

Zoo News Digest 8th - 11th April 2010 (Zoo News 664)

Zoo News Digest 8th - 11th April 2010 (Zoo News 664)

at Bioparc Valencia

Dear Colleagues,

"ZOOS: WHAT DO YOU THINK? - THE great zoo debate..." All this sparked off by that biased and blinkered Angela Smith. Apparently 42% were shown to be against zoos. Percentages are wonderful things. I would be willing to bet that more than 50% of that 42% were ill informed of what zoos were about and 50% 0f that 50% would not be prepared to listen to any rational because they were associated with PETA and those of a similar cloth. All zoos are not the same.

I have long been an admirer of Mahatma Ghandi and especially so with regards to his respect for all life. I wonder then what he would have had to say about the situation with the closure of the Marine Zoo on Veer Savarkar Marg. I don't know the place or how the place keeps its animals but it has been there for twenty five years. I believe that giving any animal holding facility just 72 hours to evacuate its site to be criminal. Deciding to name the swimming pool that they will build in its place after Mahatma Ghandi just rubs salt into the wound.
The situation is a little better for the Marineland in Napier. Again a collection which has been in place for more than 25 years. Closed for a year now but at least there will be ample time to rehouse their seals, sealions and penguins once a final decision is made as to the sites reinvention.

I was very sorry to learn of the loss of the Flamingos in Helsinki Zoo. Over the years I have seen a few go to foxes, each one a tragedy, but never so many. I can well imagine the loss and I sympathise.

I find the report on Jeddah Zoo quite disturbing. If anything presented a 'we have got something to hide' approach then this definitely does. I hope that some fair minded investigative reporter manages to get in and reveal to the world the inside story.

So Miami MetroZoo is getting a new name...two names in fact. I am pleased that both of these will still use the word 'zoo'. I find it interesting that when re-naming for zoos comes along that some will try and change themselves into something else as if it is going to change or add something. The thing is, it often does. Okay, some titles are more descriptive of the approach to captive care but it does not change the essential role. I can well recollect having an argument with two staff members of a certain large wild animal park who insisted they did not work in a zoo. In fact they said they disliked zoos. It left me feeling quite bewildered at the type of stall that this collection were employing.

Bangkok Safari World is getting flak for its Orangutan Boxing matches once again...and so it should. There really is no place for this sort of thing in the modern zoo. Read the report of my last visit here: Safari World in Bangkok Thailand
This place is not going to change in a hurry. They are making money and that, sadly, is really all they are trying to do. What would hurt them would be if good zoos pointed a finger and refused to cooperate...if good zoos visited BEFORE they supplied animals. I have said this before. I won't say I was ignored because I wasn't. I had a few nasty letters from reputable zoo personnel saying it was the wrong approach...and besides there were animals they needed from the zoos I was criticising. So what happens? Think back to the die off in Chiang Mai Safari a year or so back. Suwit Khunkitti, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment really needs to take a stand on zoos in Thailand. He was the winner of the 2009 J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership and is responsible for some excellent work with 'in situ' conservation. He just needs to address the 'ex situ' because outside of the members of the Zoological Park Park Organisation it is virtually non existent.

The 'seal mystery' is a puzzle and then again it is not. All seals tagged in British Waters have the message "Inform London Zoo" and a number. London Zoo has nothing to do with the tagging. They are a familiar organisation and a number and address are easily located. The tag will also have a unique number on it. The tags are issued by a research body only to those organisations who rehabilitate seals. London Zoo just passes the information on when they recieve it. It should be simply a case of contacting the research body who would be able to tell who the tag was issued to. As to the tag being located where it inhibited swimming. Well that is a mystery. I wonder where it was placed?

A small mention of breeding programmes. I note that the link 'No Asian Lions For Winnipeg Zoo' states that they are now on a waiting list because "the breeding so carefully controlled among participant zoos". This is great. This is the mark of what a breeding programme is all about...well managed. It doesn't mean that Winnipeg won't get Asians because they will later. In the meantime though the African Lion is in big trouble and any help which they can get can only be a very positive move. Staying on the subject of breeding programmes I note that the Cheetah cubs in the Orana Wildlife Park in New Zealand are continuing to do well. They state "Orana Park has 18 cheetahs and is the only zoo in New Zealand breeding cheetahs as part of an international breeding programme." Again we have those two important words 'breeding programme'. It does not mean that there are no other Cheetah in New Zealand because there are. However if they are outside of a managed population then sorry it is simply not good enough.

Sticking with Cheetahs and Breeding Programmes. In the last Digest I wrote about the cubs being born on Sir Bani Yas island. There is a further link below titled "First cheetahs born in UAE in 38 years". I include it here because it has some excellent video footage of the cubs in question and it is well worth a look. As an article though it leaves a lot to be desired. To begin with the title "First cheetahs born in UAE in 38 years". This is incorrect. The parents of the cubs were born in the UAE and went to the island from the private collection of Sheikh Butti Al Maktoum and at the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife Centre. Then we have the first line of the article which says "the first to be born in the wild in the UAE in 38 years". Okay you think. So maybe they got it wrong and meant to include "wild" in the title. Sorry but no. There have never ever have been cheetah in the wild in the UAE! The "38 years" may refer to one shot in Oman (which is not the UAE) in 1977. Curiously no Cheetah have ever been sighted in the wild in Southern Arabia either before or since this animal was killed. They don't and have never naturally occurred in South Arabia.
Bye the bye. What is Wild? The Cheetah on Sir Bani Yas have been killing their own prey since April of 2009. That is pretty good and I have nothing but praise for it. This is a remarkable achievement...but Wild? Without having their prey supported by food imported to and or irrigated and grown by man on the island then these Cheetah would die. No sorry I don't think they can be considered wild.
In November 2009 there was the claim about a white tiger being born in the Africa! Come on! Recently rangers in Kenya started catching up and moving 7,000 Wildbeest and Zebra and moving them across the country because of drought. Then there were the large number of animals moved a few weeks ago only to be released again so that lions could catch them and eat them. The word 'Wild' is in need of redefining.

The Brookfield Zoo Kidnap threat makes my stomach lurch. There are few crimes worse than this especially where a child is the victim. I hope that they can catch this sick individual soon.

Lastly, if you have not seen the other posts on the blog since I mailed out the last Digest please take a look.

Looking for a job?  Several new vacancies posted in recent days.

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

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On with links:

THE great zoo debate has divided the nation after the Sunday Express revealed a Labour minister wants a ban on animal collections.
One side believes zoos protect endangered species, while others say they are relics of the Victorian era.
The debate – which followed last week’s story “Labour call to ban zoos” – generated a huge phone poll vote with 57 per cent of callers in favour of zoos and 42 per cent against.
Charities Minister Angela Smith sparked the debate, saying: “It’s inappropriate to keep wild animals in captivity in this way. You can’t shut down every zoo tomorrow, but we have to set a point in the future where we don’t bring in any more animals, then set another point saying ‘This is the last zoo’.”
Ms Smith, MP for Basildon in Essex, revealed she had received letters from children who were upset at the conditions in which animals were kept.
The internationally respected London Zoo last night said it welcomed the debate.
A spokeswoman for the Zoological Society of London, which runs the zoos in Regent’s Park as well as Whipsnade, said: “We constantly carry out and fund research into animal care and conservation so we can advance our understanding. The comments of Angela Smith represent her personal view, not those of the Government.
“It is a shame when someone’s preconceptions result in t

Olympic-sized pool at the cost of a rare marine zoo
On the busy Veer Savarkar Marg, a few steps away from the mayor’s bungalow, Dr Nandkumar Moghe and volunteers for the Wildlife Wanderers Nature Foundation (WWNF) have nursed a treasure of marine life over the last 25 years. From Baob, the African knife-fish, the Red-fin Barb from Argentina, the Moon Oscar to the Leopard fish (scat) that were found in the deluge of July 26, 2005, the modest marine zoo has been home to over 250 different and rare species until recently.
But if the BMC has its way, the marine zoo will be replaced with the Mahatma Gandhi swimming pool that the corporation is currently renovating. The WWNF was served an eviction notice by the BMC on April 9. “They served the notice in the evening and asked us to vacate the premises in 72 hours,” Moghe said.
Left with no option, the WWNF then moved the city civil court seeking a stay on the eviction notice. WWNF’s advocate Jamshed Mistry told the court that the corporation has allotted the 2005 square meters of land at the prime location in June 1986 for the “unique project” of breeding rare marine life and medicinal forests.
In 1992, when the BMC had first tried to evict WWNF from the premises, the high court had heavily come down on the corporation and stated in its order, “Should the court be a silent spectator when the municipal authorities forcibly take possession and brutally destroys the property of the citizens?” The court

Marineland may end up being used as a bus centre
Napier's Marineland, one of Hawke's Bay's top tourist attractions since the mid-1960s, could be turned into a bus centre.
An adventure park or water park has also been suggested for the Marine Pde site once the marine zoo is finally closed.
The options are being considered by Napier City Council, according to documents obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act.
About 50 animals, including seals, sea lions and penguins, remain in the zoo, which has been closed to the public for a year because visitor numbers dropped sharply after the last dolphins died.
It will cost the council $606,000 to maintain the zoo during the coming financial year.
An ambitious redevelopment plan, based on work by Wellington company 3D Creative, has been examined by the council but mayor Barbara Arnott says the $11 million-plus cost is not affordable.
That means there is no chance that Marineland will reopen in anything like its present form, though the possibility of keeping some of the animals in a new attraction has not been ruled out. No decisions have been made on finding new homes for the remaining animals.
The council has a resolution on its books that, if Marineland is shut permanently, the site will be used for a new tourist attraction with a "wow factor".
However, council sources say that anything with a genuine wow factor now seems to be beyond the council's budget, and the Marineland replacement will be something

Wolves v hamsters: a risk assessment
Wolves have been contentious in Scottish wildlife circles over recent years, mainly due to the long-running attempt by the Alladale estate to reintroduce them to our hills and glens.
Even Alladale, however, with its formidable PR machine, has never managed to generate column inches by daring to compare the relative ferocity of wolves and hamsters. But that’s what has happened this week. Yes, that’s right – wolves versus hamsters.
It started on Tuesday, when a wolf escaped from the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig. This was widely reported, and the BBC interviewed Douglas Richardson, the park’s animal collection manager. In describing how the wolf was returned to its enclosure, Richardson argued that there had never been any risk to public safety. “There is so much mythology about how dangerous wolves are,” he said. “Your average hamster is more dangerous.”
Blimey. Either Richardson had been misquoted, or that was quite some claim – so The Caledonian Mercury, concerned about the risk to hamster-owning children across the country, did its civic duty and sought clarification.
“My comment, although a tad exaggerated,” said Richardson on Thursday, “was to underline the fact that wolves have a reputation for being dangerous that is not deserved, and hamsters are common pets that are small and cute and fluffy and are notorious biters.
“In my own experience of over 30 years working with wolves in a wide range of facilities, I and no-one I know has ever been attacked. This is particularly key as it is routine to work in with wolves, as opposed to moving them to an adjacent enclosure as you would with a big cat or a bear. Wolves will generally keep their distance, although sometimes a more confident individual may come closer for a look at you. Occasionally a dominant animal, usually a male, will solicit play behaviour, but never aggressive or attack behaviour.
"On the other hand, hamsters are notorious for biting the hand that feeds them, especially when they have not been gradually habituated to handling by their owners or are disturbed when sleeping during the day. Introducing one hamster to another can be fraught and violent and blood is usually drawn.
“Of course wolves are physically capable of doing real damage as they are large powerful animals with large sharp teeth and a strong bite, but they don’t. You would be very unl

Baby Rhino Requires Assistance for Eating
Blood sores in the white rhino calf's eyes intended that he had problem finding his mother Kito's tits to suckle milk from them.
Hamilton Zoo Acting Director, Samantha Kudeweh said that she had not heard of anyone having milked a rhino in Australasia.
Rhinos are usually docile animals and milking one was a thrilling experience, but obviously with an element of risk.
Mrs. Kudeweh said, "If they get a fright they flick round and they can't see particularly well so they rush towards something if they don't know what it is".
But sitting under a mother rhino and hand-milking her had not been a frightening experience. She said that they do a lot of conditioning with their rhinos on a daily basis so they're happy to stand in their defensive chute.

Appeal to Colchester Zoo not to replace Subu the lion
Campaigners are urging a zoo not to replace a lion which had to be put down on health grounds.
Subu, a male, was a popular attraction at Colchester Zoo and lived in an enclosure opened in 2004. He was put down on 1 April.
The Born Free Foundation has appealed to the zoo's owners for Subu not to be replaced with another lion.
"Subu was examined several days before to assess a deteriorating condition," a statement on the zoo's website said.
"Due to his age, after a final examination and on veterinary advice it was decided that putting him to

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Bonaparte lauds zoo applicants
Faced with a variety of impressive applicants, the city has moved back its target date for hiring a new Topeka Zoo director.
City manager Norton Bonaparte, who initially had planned to hire a new director by early May, said Wednesday he hoped to fill the job by early summer.
"We have had over 30 applicants, and a number of them are very, very qualified," Bonaparte told reporters at his monthly news conference.
He said the city hoped to soon schedule interviews with some of the candidates, adding that all of the applicants were from out of town.
City spokesman David Bevens said the city also was reviewing applications it had received for the zoo's vacant veterinarian's position and would fill that job after a new zoo director is hired.
Former zoo director Mike Coker retired at age 54 in December after the Association of Zoos and Aquariums conducted a review at Bonaparte's request that identified problems at the zoo. After the AZA chose March 2 not to revoke the zoo's accreditation, the city received applications f

Chimpazee dies after fall from tree at Alipore Zoo
A 22-year-old female chimpanzee, Jessy, died at Alipore Zoo on Thursday after falling from a tree.
Being treated for a back injury, the chimpanzee climbed a tree when the branch on which she stood gave way. The chimpanzee fell from a height of height of 15-20 feet and died on the spot.
“The post mortem report revealed that the cause of death was internal head injury,” said Raju Das

Lower Basildon is home to newborn lemur triplets
Keepers at a children's zoo in Berkshire are celebrating the "rare" birth of ring-tailed lemur triplets.
Bosses at Beale Park, near Reading, said the triplets were born to parents Rosie and Sam last month.
Curator Dave Coles said: "We were very surprised by the arrival of three babies as this is such a rare event.
"We would normally expect a lemur to give birth to a single baby in the wild and possibly twins in captivity, so triplets are really quite remarkable."
Rosie, who has had twins for the last two years, gave birth to the triplets on 21 March, the same date she gave birth last year.
Her keeper visits the new family several times a day to ensure that Rosie's milk production is

Pair nabbed with tiger cub
TWO alleged members of a tiger trading gang were arrested yesterday at a checkpoint in Chaiyaphum's Ban Khwao district while taking a twomonthold tiger cub to a customer in southern Thailand.
Police at the checkpoint on ChaiyaphimBan Khwao Road stopped a black pickup in which the two men - Sawaeng Nanoi, 35, and Jamnong Srijan, 59 - were travelling. A search of the car found the 10kg cub hidden in a plastic box.
The pair reportedly confessed to police they had brought the cub from Laos and were on the way to deliver it to a customer

RSPCA backs push for koala removal inquiry
The RSPCA says an Upper House inquiry would give it the opportunity to tell its side of the story about the removal of eight koalas from Gunnedah's Waterways Wildlife Park in north-west New South Wales.
The NSW Coalition has announced it will support the Greens' push for a parliamentary investigation into why the animals were removed.
The park's owners have disputed claims that the animals were malnourished and dehydrated and have accused the RSPCA of ignoring its own guidelines.
The inquiry would also examine the organisation's relationship with a reality TV show that filmed the removal.
RSPCA CEO Steve Coleman says his organisation has done nothing wrong.
"The RSPCA welcomes the inquiry, why wouldn't we?" he said.
"It provides an opportunity for the RSPCA to tell the other side of the story. It's then and only then a point in time when people can make an informed judgment about what has or hasn't occurred.
"We would hope to be able to tell the whole story without fear or favour, we have been unable to do that up until know due to issues around fairness and

Police warning after monkey escapes from Cumbrian zoo
A search is under way after a South American monkey escaped from a wild animal park in Cumbria.
The small beige Capuchin went missing from his enclosure at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton.
Staff from the centre, which is home to dozens of exotic animals, called in police to help in the search operation.
Capuchins are native to the Amazon basin, about 20ins (51cm) high and recognisable by a distinctive

Conservation centre to boost science awareness
The Centre for Conservation Science at the National Zoological Gardens (NZG) will be used as a platform to create awareness and to promote careers in science said Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor.
Pandor, who visited the NZG on Wednesday, said the Centre's focus on conservation medicine and conservation science, places it in the forefront of innovation in zoo-based research.
As a component of a National Research Facility, the Centre will afford access to equipment and a well managed animal collection to the research and student community.
"The aim is to build professionals of the future that contribute to biodiversity conservation knowledge on a national and international level. The general public visiting the NZG will also be encouraged to walk through the Centre and view researchers at work.
"This will enable the NZG to contribute to the mandate of creating an awareness of science and promoting careers in science," said Pandor.
Pandor said the Centre will also conduct, coordinate and

Has CITES had its day?
Governments, conservationists and pro-trade groups have been trying to make what capital they can from their respective "victories" at last month's meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). But, asks Mark Jones, is the 37-year-old convention successfully doing the job it was established to do?
CITES is mandated to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants, or products derived from them, does not threaten their survival.
An impressive-sounding 175 parties (member countries) are committed to implementing various protection measures for some 5,000 species of animal and 28,000 plants.
Yet at times on the floor of last month's conference in Doha, Qatar, one had the impression that the arguments and outcomes had more to do with protecting commercial interests than protecting wildlife.
The process of decision making has become intensely political. Parties choose to use scientific evidence to support their positions when it suits them, and refute the validity of the science when it

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Wildlife Park pleads not guilty to charges
The companies that run Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens, where a big cat handler was mauled to death, have pleaded not guilty to two charges brought under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.
Dalu Mncube was attacked by a Bengal tiger while cleaning its cage last May.
The Department of Labour had previously laid two charges against Zion Wildlife Services for "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work". Two charges were also laid against Zion Wildlife Gardens for "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no hazard" in a workplace harms people working as employees of a contractor.
Department of Labour counsel Karena England withdrew one of the charges against each company when

Big cat handler's family still haunted by his death
Family members will re-open painful memories of big cat handler Dalu Mncube's death when Zion Wildlife Gardens faces charges in the Whangarei District Court today.
Born in Zimbabwe, the 26-year-old died in May last year after Abu, a 260kg Bengal white tiger, mauled him.
The Department of Labour laid two charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 against Zion Wildlife Services for "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work".
Two charges were also laid against Zion Wildlife Gardens.
Fortune Shumba, Mr Mncube's brother, said that nearly a year, on the family still felt raw about the way his brother had died.
"It's going to be something really terrible talking about it, having all those memories come back.
"We don't want anyone to go through this again."
Mr Shumba said he had an open mind about the park's culpability, and hoped the court case would show

Snow makes Mercedes a 'silly' old polar bear
The UK's only polar bear has revelled in deep snow and freezing conditions during her first winter in the Highlands, one of her keepers has said.
Mercedes was moved from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig in the Cairngorms last year.
Animal collections manager Douglas Richardson said its estimated age of 29 was old for a polar bear.
He said staff and visitors had seen it rolling around in snow, bouncing on ice and "generally being silly".
The Highlands region experienced one of its longest and harshest winters since the 1960s with heavy snowfalls and prolonged spells of subzero

Cheetah Release in Iran

'Kooshki' an Asiatic Cheetah captured by a poacher as a cub is released into a large enclosure in Pardisan Zoo near Tehran in June 2008. The project is a cooperatively managed venture involving Western scientists in spite of differences of opinion over Nucleur matters.

Cooking oil stolen from safari park
COOKING oil worth about £500 was stolen from the West Midland Safari Park in Bewdley.
The oil was in 33 boxes stolen from a catering store room after thieves broke into the site between 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 30 and 7am the following day.
Each box contained 20 litres of oil in smaller boxes, measuring approximately 18 inches by 8 inches, with a yellow teardrop logo on the sides.
PC Julian Ward said: “We would like to hear from anyone who knows anything about this theft and would

Tracking the Secretive Blanding's Turtle from Wildlife Matters on Vimeo.

Public scepticism prompts Science Museum to rename climate exhibition
The Science Museum is revising the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months.
The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public’s reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.
The museum is abandoning its previous practice of trying to persuade visitors of the dangers of global warming. It is instead adopting a neutral position, acknowledging that there are legitimate doubts about the impact of man-made emissions on the climate.
Even the title of the £4 million gallery has been changed to reflect the museum’s more circumspect approach. The museum had intended to call it the Climate Change Gallery, but has decided to change this to Climate Science Gallery to avoid being accused of presuming that emissions would change the temperature.
Last October the museum launched a temporary exhibition called “Prove It! All the evidence you need to believe in climate change”. The museum said at the time that the exhibition had been designed to demonstrate “through scientific evidence that climate change is real and requires an urgent solution”.
Chris Rapley, the museum’s director, told The Times that it was taking a different approach after observing how the climate debate had been affected by leaked e-mails and overstatements of the dangers of global warming. He said: “We have come to realise, given the way this subject has become so polarised

Jaglions (Included for interest - in no way do I approve)

Orangutan uses bridge to find mates
MALAYSIAN wildlife activists said on Sunday they have photographic evidence of the endangered orangutan using man-made treetop bridges to find new mates and prevent inbreeding.
Orangutan habitats in Malaysia and Indonesia have been devastated as jungles are cleared by logging companies and to make way for plantations, putting the ape at risk of inbreeding as they are split into smaller populations.
Activists in Malaysia's eastern Sabah state on Borneo island since 2003 began building bridges in a bid to save the species, which could be virtually eliminated from the wild within two decades if deforestation continues. 'Over the years we have received numerous local eyewitness reports of the orangutans using these rope bridges but this is the first time we have received photographic evidence,' Isabelle Lackman from environmental group Hutan said.
She said a group of pictures captured by a local in February showed a young male ape crossed the single rope 20-metre bridge, one of the six built by activists, in the Lower Kinabatangan Sanctuary in Sabah.
Experts say there are about 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans - Asia's only great ape - left in the wild, 80 percent of them in Indonesia and the rest in Malaysian's eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo.
Ms Hutan said the evidence marked a success in efforts to conserve the population but called for the establishment of wildlife corridors that would ena

Circus fatal blamed on wire sparks
The worker killed by a Shrine Circus elephant on Friday is identified as Andrew Anderton, of Florida.
More details regarding the Friday afternoon death of an elephant handler were coming to light Saturday, but the exact details may never be known.
The death of Andrew Anderton, a handler for Dumbo, the elephant which performed at the Irem Shrine Circus held at the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 109th Field Artillery Armory most of this week – was ruled accidental by Luzerne County Coroner John Corcoran.
An autopsy performed Saturday morning by Dr. Mary Pascucci determined the handler, Anderton, 48, of Florida, died from multiple traumatic injuries, Corcoran said.
Anderton was pronounced dead at 4:50 p.m. Friday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital after he was found lying on the floor in the back of the armory roughly 20 minutes earlier, Corcoran said.
Irem Shrine Circus Service Chairman John Richards explained there are only two entities that know exactly what happened Friday night and

Delhi Zoo to get face-lift ahead of Commonwealth Games
Delhi Zoo is all set to get a face-lift ahead of the Commonwealth Games in October, with two air-conditioned food courts, a souvenir shop, cloak room and an ATM facility to come up under a major refurbishment plan.
The Environment Ministry, in a recent meeting, had directed the Delhi Zoo officials to come up with a modernisation plan to showcase one of the oldest zoological gardens in the country to tourists thronging the city during the mega sporting event.
"Signages, modernisation of cloak room, setting up of an ATM facility and a souvenir shop are on the cards while a proposal to construct two air-conditioned food courts inside the premises has already been finalised," Delhi Zoo Director Anand Krishna said.
"Besides, animal enclosures will be renovated and coated with fresh paint. The cost of the project is yet to be finalised. Once it is approved and we receive funds from the ministry, we will go ahead with the plan," he said.
B S Bonal, Member Secretary of Central Zoo Authority (CZA), a statutory body under the Ministry, said, "We have also suggested installing of 'Shera' -- the mascot of Commonwealth Games -- at a strategic location near the entrance gate to attract visitors."
Located close to heritage structure 'Purana Qila' (Old Fort), the National Zoological Park is being seen as a good bet for the tourists looking for a break during the ten-day sporting event beginning

Daley, Brookfield zoo letters threatens kidnapping
FBI probes note referring to wolf killed at zoo, past letters
The FBI is investigating possible connections between a threatening letter opened Tuesday at a suburban high school and similar letters sent to Mayor Daley and a Brookfield Zoo official.
The anonymous letters dating back to 2003 address two high-profile animal deaths by human hands.
Chicago Police gunned down a wild cougar running through the Roscoe Village neighborhood on April 14, 2008. In 2003, a gray wolf named Cinnamon Bear was fatally shot at the Brookfield Zoo after a woman ignored barriers and tried to pet the animal, causing the wolf to latch onto her arm.
The most recent letter, opened Tuesday at Riverside Brookfield High School, said a child might be kidnapped and alludes to the wolf death.
The school district issued a safety alert to parents about the letter.
"We are looking at the letters and past communications that have been received to see if there are any connections," said Ross Rice, FBI spokesman. "We don't know who sent these,CST-NWS-letter08.article

Endangered vultures may find breeding centre in Patna
Endangered vultures may soon find a new nesting place with plans to start a breeding centre for the birds at a biological park here known for its success with gharials, says the Patna Zoo director.
Patna-based Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park is likely to be selected by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) as a breeding centre for vultures, Patna Zoo director Abhay Kumar told IANS.
CZA member secretary B.S. Bonal, during his visit here Wednesday, has said the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park was a suitable place to start a breeding centre for vultures, according to Kumar.
“We will be happy to start a breeding centre for vultures here after the successful breeding of gharials and rhinos,” Kumar told IANS.
A forest official said vultures have been spotted in the flood-prone Bihar districts of Bhagalpur, East Champaran, Supaul, Araria and Khagaria.
Haryana, West Bengal and Assam also have vulture breeding centres, but these are run by the Bombay Natural History Society with the help of Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Until 1992, as many as nine species of vultures were found in India. The decline in the population of vultures during the decade 1997-2006 is reported to be as high as 98 percent.
According to experts, a drug used to treat animals killed the scavenging birds by the

Investigations called on possible illegal export of local primates
NGO questions if the protected long-tailed macaques are being exported to Laos
An international animal welfare organisation is raising questions on whether locally protected long-tailed macaques are being illegally exported to a monkey-breeding farm in Laos.
This farm is said to be the largest monkey farm in the region.
The Malay Mail learnt that the Laotian farm owner's son and workers had told investigators from UK-based British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (Buav), that over the past few years, the company had imported a number of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from Malaysia for use as their original breeding stock.
Macaca fascicularis, which has been listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) appendix, is a protected species in Malaysia and, their export to other countries is not permitted.
Buav Special Projects director Sarah Kite told The Malay Mail "During the Buav investigation into the primate trade in Laos, our investigators were informed by the farm owners and workers, that a large number of wild-caught, long-tailed macaques had been imported from Malaysia in recent years to establish the farm." She said, according to the Cites database, there is no record of the export of these macaques from Malaysia over the past 10 years, not

Miami MetroZoo Gets Lengthy New Name
Miami's MetroZoo is getting a new name, actually two new names. Tuesday morning, the board of Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a resolution that formally renames Miami MetroZoo to "Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens." The working name, or day-to-day name, will be "Zoo Miami" for marketing and recognition purposes.
The zoo's community director Ron Magill says that change is good.
"It's kind of a rebranding. Letting people know it's not the same old zoo," Magill told CBS4.COM. "The zoo is really changing and growing and it's a fresh approach to the zoo."
Miami's MetroZoo is consistently rated one of America's top ten zoos. The new name, "Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens" is more consistent with that of other leading world-class zoos and it better encompasses

Reality Stars Plunge into Polar Bear Exhibit at San Diego Zoo
Thanks to celebrities (and their reality show film crews) like Tori Spelling, Candice Cameron and Denise Richards, the opening of the San Diego Zoo’s new Polar Bear Plunge exhibit was about as wild as it gets, nevermind the earth’s largest land predators romping around their cozy enclosure.
The VIP event for celebrities, donors, media and other special guests last week was held to highlight the new eco-friendly enhancements to the Polar Bear Plunge. There was an eco-chic green carpet where celebs like Tori Spelling her two kids posed for photos (with at least a 5-10 person entourage from her show Home Sweet Hollywood in tow), hands-on demonstrations of melting polar ice caps, hors d’oeuvres served on

Animals in Jeddah public zoo not mistreated: Official
Reports published in some local newspapers that animals in Jeddah’s municipality-owned zoo are sick and mistreated have been denied by Bahjat Hamwah, Director of Parks and Landscaping at Jeddah Mayoralty. The zoo located at Kilo 11 has been closed for a number of years but animals are still kept there as the municipality says that it has plans to reopen the facility to the public.
“Anyone who claims that animals inside the zoo are mistreated should be sued in the court because such people are not doctors and such judgments cannot be made by looking at pictures taken from behind fences,” said Hamwah.
He also explained that there are veterinarians taking care of the animals and that his department signed a contract with a company a year ago to develop the zoo and reopen it to the public. When he was asked why the zoo has been closed for such a long time, Hamwah said that he had no knowledge about that, and quickly added that he preferred to end the interview with Saudi Gazette as he did not like to be asked so many questions.
“I don’t have to answer your questions and I’m not willing to cooperate with you,” said Hamwah. “You may write in your newspaper that I’m not cooperative enough. I really don’t care,” he added
A source in the municipality, who spoke to Saudi Gazette on condition of anonymity, said that the zoo situated in southeastern Jeddah has been closed for almost a decade and was supposed to reopen to the public last year but that this has been delayed because the black Wednesday floods damaged the zoo’s infrastructure. The source said that the zoo contains more than 23 animal species, including a rare species of tiger.
Upon a visit to the zoo, Saudi Gazette tried to get a close look at the animals and the conditions under which they are being kept, but those in charge of the zoo’s administration refused saying “it would be dangerous because it is the animals’ feeding time”.
The administration also explained that they do not trust the media. They said that they once let a journalist take pictures of the animals, only to be surprised when he published a photo of an elephant with a caption saying “zoo animals are not cleaned”.
Regarding this incident, the municipality source told Saudi Gazette that instead of correcting the sad situation of the elephant as depicted in the photo, the mayoralty instead launched an investigation of the supervisor of the zoo demanding to know how the journalist had

Seal mystery deepens as zoo baffled
CONFUSION SURROUNDS the origins of a seal pup which was washed up on a beach last week wearing a tag urging finders to contact London Zoo.
The female pup who has been named “Mighty” by the Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) was found on Skerries beach in Co Dublin on Wednesday in an emaciated condition. She was parasite-ridden and suffering from starvation.
The yellow tag was located on her flipper in such a way that it inhibited her swimming and may have contributed to the state in which she was found.
London Zoo said it knew nothing about the seal, adding it did not use the type of tag found on the animal.
ISS volunteer Pauline Beades said it was

Man injured by elephant at Belgrade Zoo
A man was attacked and seriously injured Thursday by an elephant as he rescued his grandchild who had sneaked into the animal's enclosure at the Belgrade Zoo, doctors and local media said.
The man had several broken ribs and severe injuries to the abdominal area and chest, but was in stable condition after surgery, Belgrade emergency hospital spokesman Drago Jovanovic said.
The attack follows a series of security incidents at the zoo in the center of the Serbian capital.
B92 television identified the man as 65-year-old Miroslav Petrovic. The station reported, quoting witnesses, that the child suddenly crossed over into the elephant's enclosure. The man went after the boy and managed to lift him out over a wall, but was then hit by the elephant from the back, it said.
State TV later showed footage of a small, fenced section at one end of the enclosure which seemed easily accessible from the visitor's area. The TV station said the fenced section is usually used by zoo employees

Wild fox kills 15 flamingoes at Helsinki Zoo
An ambitious fox swapped the hen house for a flamingo coop when it sneaked into a menagerie and killed 15 pink flamingoes at Helsinki Zoo, its director Jukka Salo said Friday.
Salo said the fox wandered across the frozen sea to reach the island zoo, near the center of the Finnish capital, in the overnight raid. It climbed up the wire fencing of the roofless pen to reach the birds.
"The paw marks are very clear - it was a wild fox," Salo said. "When it got in, it acted just as if it were in a hen house, killing and creating mayhem."
The intruder mauled and killed

Wombat victim 'thought he was a goner'
A Victorian man attacked by an enraged wombat says he thought he was going to die during the 20-minute ordeal.
Bruce Kringle, 60, was knocked over by the wild marsupial after stepping out of his caravan in Flowerdale on Tuesday morning before being repeatedly bitten and scratched all over his body.
"I thought I was a goner, I really did," Mr Kringle told Nine News.
"Those teeth were something shocking."
But the Black Saturday survivor managed to grab the wombat by the ears and push its face into the dirt before yelling for help.
His neighbour came to his aid and killed

Abandoned cubs defy all the odds
Four cheetahs at Orana Wildlife Park have beaten the odds to celebrate their first birthday.
Mazza, Kunjuka, Shomari and Cango were abandoned by first-time mother Kura soon after birth.
Park staff worked 12 hours every dayto care for them during their first six weeks of life.
Head keeper of exotic animals Graeme Petrie said it was a privilege to see the cats develop.
"They each have distinct personalities and we still have daily contact with them. They are awesome animals," he said.
Yesterday's birthday celebration was bitter-sweet for park staff because Kura died suddenly last week.
Animal collection manager Ian Adams said the past week had been rough for staff, but Kura had made a significant contribution to the breeding programme by producing eight cubs. "She is sadly missed, but her legacy lives on

No Asian lions for Winnipeg zoo
Planning to welcome African cats, instead
WONDERING where the Asian lions are?
Well, the pair the Assiniboine Park Zoo was preparing to welcome this summer aren't coming.
"Although we did our best to enter the Asian lion breeding programs in Europe and India, we were informed there is a waiting list of dozens of zoos ahead of us," zoo spokesman Dr. Bob Wrigley said.
"The animals are so rare, and the breeding so carefully controlled among participant zoos, that it will likely be many years before we are selected."
Now, the zoo is planning to get some equally majestic, albeit less-rare and exotic, African lions, he said.
There are just 350 Asiatic lions left in the wild -- all of them in the Gir National Park and Lion Sanctuary in northern India.
The animals were almost wiped out by sport hunting over the last two centuries, the Asiatic Lion Information Centre reports.
When the lion hunt was outlawed in the 1900s, the greatest threat came from the destruction of habitat. Vast tracts of jungle forest were cleared for timber to sell and to make way for the increasing human population. To bolster the endangered Asiatic lion population, co-operative inter-zoo breeding programs were set up. In 1990, two Asiatic lion couples from India were brought to the London Zoo, the Asiatic Lion Information Centre said. Zoos in Zurich and

Barbaric spectacle: Orangutans kickbox and parade in bikinis for cheering tourists
Dressed in garish shorts and boxing gloves, orangutans trade punches and spin-kick each other in a boxing ring.
Horrifying footage shows cheering tourists drawn to the barbaric sport at a theme park called Safari World on the outskirts of Bangkok in Thailand.
The same company was banned from doing exactly the same thing just six years ago.
While an orangutan pretends to be knocked out of the boxing ring, others, dressed in bikinis are trained as round card girls and bell ringers.
The apes kickbox each other as a spectacle for tourists in a show lasting more than 30 minutes, before being returned to their dark cages. It is not known how many orangutans have been captured and trained by Safari World.
Animal campaigners say the apes - weighing up to 250lbs - could do themselves serious damage in the boxing ring.
They warn it is hastening the end of the orangutan, which experts

Parks commission board solely responsible for zoo management
The National Parks Commission (NPC) board is solely accountable for all the administrative, health and safety issues at Zoological Park, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon has said, in wake of concerns about the management of the facility.
Luncheon, at a post-cabinet briefing last week, explained that while Office of the President (OP) is the budgetary agency responsible for NPC’s expenditure, it has nothing to do with policy-making. Policy-making for the zoo, he said, is done by NPC’s board.
Last month, Stabroek News reported on the animal housing conditions and poor health and safety practices at the zoo and a former senior manager has blamed the situation on a combination of poor decisions by NPC and inadequate funding. While Luncheon admitted that he is not conversant with NPC board recommendations– which are forwarded to OP for approval before funds are released–he said that these had been submitted in the latter part of 2009, in preparation for this year’s budget. NPC’s 2010 budget, Luncheon suggested, could have designated improvements in the zoo’s landscape and the conditions under which the animals are being kept. “All I can say is that the

First cheetahs born in UAE in 38 years
Four cheetah cubs are the first to be born in the wild in the UAE in 38 years, conservationists working with the Sir Bani Yas Island breeding programme said yesterday.
The seven-week-old northern cheetahs are about 25cm long and closely trail behind their shy mother, Safira, who was brought to the 4,100-hectare Arabian Wildlife Park from captivity two years ago.
Visitors on guided nature drives have already spotted the new family, said Marius Prinsloo, the manager of conservation and agriculture at Sir Bani Yas Island.
“Some groups have been lucky enough to encounter the female with the cubs,” Mr Prinsloo said yesterday. “The mother is very secretive about her movement, but the babies are very playful. They go around with her, following her wherever she goes and they’re fighting, rolling around, sneaking and chasing each other.”
As the cubs mature and grow into their hunting instincts, he said, Safira will take them on longer journeys. Safira is roughly 31kg and nearing six years old as a fully grown female.
The birth of the four cubs doubled the island’s population of northern cheetahs. The northern cheetah is classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is a close relative to the indigenous Arabian cheetah, which became extinct in the UAE in 1972.
“This is a very significant event because with these animals, both the mother and father were captive-bred,” Mr Prinsloo

Tiger Woods May Have Cheated, but do Tigers?
Sure, there's been a ton of tabloid coverage of the alleged infidelities of Tiger Woods and Jesse James, but only those two men know what they really did, and what their real motivations were. They damaged their marriages, reputations and careers.
Was it a much-debated sexual addiction? A series of bad choices? Or would they argue that it was, in part, nature?
That's not for us to decide, but one thing we can say: Tigers don't always cheat
In the animal kingdom, tigers often choose just one partner — though they hook up just a few days before consummating their union, mating as often as 150 times in a two-day period when the female is in heat.
We toured the Wild Animal Park at the famed San Diego Zoo to observe animal behavior first hand. We began with the monogamists.
Take the red-cheeked gibbons, apes that may swing from vines but not from mate to mate. They choose one lifelong partner and raise their young together.
The crowned crane is also among the animal kingdom's most faithful. It is revered in some Asian countries as a symbol of m

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Into The Wild From Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

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Myths and falsehoods from the assault on global warming science

Bristol Zoo director announces his retirement


BIAZA 12th Annual Symposium on Zoo and Aquarium Research

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